Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ESD's Atlantic Yards director on delayed SEIS: "We have been working diligently to complete a thorough review of the potential extended build-out"

Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing and fostering Atlantic Yards, has updated its Atlantic Yards website with a message from Paula Roy, who recently took over as Director of the project.

There's a bit of news: ESD expects the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)--ordered by a court to examine the community impacts of a delayed buildout--"to be released for public comment and a public hearing in the first half of 2014."

Though the process began more than a year ago, Roy states, "We have been working diligently to complete a thorough review of the potential extended build-out."

Or, as I suspect, they've delayed it so Forest City Ratner could market an Atlantic Yards investment to the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group.

Roy's message also notes, "In December, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) delivered and lifted into place the first of 930 steel modular units for the first residential tower at the Building 2 site (known as B2)."

She does not acknowledge that the delivery/lift sure looks like a charade carried out for the cameras, as no other modules have been delivered.

The message
January 2014
Dear Community Member,
Welcome to the New York State Empire State Development Atlantic Yards website. We look forward to sharing progress on this project that will bring thousands of jobs, affordable housing, open space and community facilities to the Brooklyn community.
In late 2013, the Atlantic Yards project made key strides moving the project forward through a milestone in construction and the announcement of a new joint venture. In December, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) delivered and lifted into place the first of 930 steel modular units for the first residential tower at the Building 2 site (known as B2). When completed in late 2014, B2 will be the world’s tallest modular building, standing at 322-feet tall. B2 will have 348,000 square feet of floor space and 363 residential units, 50 percent (181 units) of which will be made affordable to low, moderate and middle-income families utilizing the City of New York’s housing subsidy programs. The remaining 50 percent (182 units) will be market-rate apartments. The affordable and market-rate apartments will be evenly spread throughout the building and all apartments will have the same quality appliances and access to the same public spaces.
Fabrication of the modular units for B2 is taking place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where the units are being assembled by skilled union workers. The mod units will then be raised by cranes at the B2 site and attached to the building’s steel frame. Since much of the fabrication will take place off-site, there will be significant reduction in construction at the project site but ESD will continue to monitor the construction progress and its impact on the surrounding area.
In other news, FCRC announced this fall that it signed an agreement to enter into a joint venture with Shanghai-based developer Greenland Group to develop the new rail yard and the remaining 15 buildings of the Atlantic Yards Project. We are encouraged by the potential for this joint venture to provide additional financial resources to speed construction of the Project and bring its 2,250 units of affordable housing to Brooklyn sooner.
Finally, Empire State Development continues to work on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), which is being prepared in compliance with a Court Order requiring ESD to examine the environmental impacts of a potential delay in the completion of Phase II of the Project to 2035. A draft Scope of Work for the SEIS was issued on December 19, 2012, and oral and written comments from the community and interested parties were received during a public scoping session and public comment period that ended on March 14, 2013. We have been working diligently to complete a thorough review of the potential extended build-out and consider the comments received during the public comment period and we expect the draft SEIS to be released for public comment and a public hearing in the first half of 2014.
Your input continues to be crucial as we oversee the Atlantic Yards Project. If you would like to receive updates, please send an email to ESD’s Atlantic Yards community relations liaison, Derek Lynch, at dlynch@esd.ny.gov.
Thank you for visiting ESD’s Atlantic Yards website and we look forward to sharing more information about the Project as it progresses.
Best Regards,
Paula Roy

Director, Atlantic Yards
The previous message
June 2013
Dear Community,
In May 2012 Empire State Development (ESD) hosted a public meeting to share the proposed Transportation Demand Management Plan (TDM) that was developed by Sam Schwartz at the request of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). Based on community input received at the public meeting the TDM Plan was revised. Shortly before the Barclays Center opened the Plan was implemented. Per the Final Environmental Impact Study, the Plan is required to reduce the number of vehicles traveling to the arena, and FCRC is required to study the effectiveness of the Plan after implementation.
On June 13th, 2013 at the Brooklyn Hospital Center Auditorium representatives of Forest City Ratner Companies and Sam Schwartz Engineering shared the effectiveness of the TDM Plan with the public. The results of the study have been posted here. The study characterizes the travel patterns of arena patrons and confirms that the TDM Plan was successful in meeting the established goals.
Traffic patterns will continue to be monitored by City DOT, NYPD, FCRC and ESD, but for the time being we are satisfied with the effectiveness of the Plan to reduce traffic. Your input continues to be crucial as we oversee the Atlantic Yards Project. If you would like to receive information about the Atlantic Yards project, please send an email to atlanticyards@esd.ny.gov. Thank you for visiting ESD’s Atlantic Yards website and we look forward to sharing more information about the Project as it becomes available.
Best regards,
Arana J. Hankin

Director, Atlantic Yards

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